To the offices of Strange Tales Magazine for case no. 748: The Mayfly Bride: Second Update
Another item has been found, along with some additional information.
Honestly, I’m not sure what to think of the latest find. On the advice of a former housekeeper, we searched an unused series of storage rooms deep in the recesses of the attic. There we found what seems to be a hat box belonging to the daughter, Elisabeth Fair Darling. That is where we found the shadow box of items.
I cleaned the glass to make it easier to photograph the items, since I can’t remove it without disassembling the box. Pinned in place is another doll and some paper insects, much like a entomological display. We are assuming that Elisabeth is the maker of the series of dolls at this point. We are debating whether to pull the pieces out to inspect them more closely, or to leave it untouched in respect, as this is obviously an artifact of Memento Mori. (Remember Death.)
There is no new poem. It is unfortunate, but not surprising, since the previous duo seem to be from the point-of-view of her father. I know it is every Englishman’s duty to secretly write bad poetry, but what madness causes a man to create such fiction about his dead wife?
This object is by far the most disturbing of the three, in my opinion. However, the Lady of the house and the housekeeper disagree. They think the nesting pair are worse. I wonder what our readers would think if polled.
What kind of father tells such tales to his daughter about her mother? What child pins an effigy of their mother in a shadow box of insects? What sort of man writes such poetry about a short marriage?
Mentioned in one of Elisabeth’s letters is her father’s secret hiding place for papers behind a false panel of the library. We are trying to ascertain where it is before randomly destroying the woodwork. I hope they are found, and not already lost to accident or madness. Was he simply trying to ease a child from the reality of death by filling her head with fairy tales, or was he deluding himself as well?
In the trunk was also some correspondence from a Mary Darling, the elder sister of Edward. This gives us another source of information, once she can be tracked down. I will send updates as I can.